I came across this very beautiful prayer recently and have made it part of my daily spiritual practise. I recite it, then sit quietly, reflecting on the wisdom it contains. It reminds us that we are an inherent part of something eternal and everlasting, something that is much bigger, that expands way beyond the confines and limitations of our physical bodies and minds. We are never separate from this source - our purpose is to discover that. There are many wonderful and wise teachings and insights in this prayer and the more I read and reflect on it, the more I get out of it. Another thing that is very clear to me is that 'being fully present in the moment is just as important as the search'.
Although my spirit may wander the four corners of the earth, Let it come back to me again so that I may live and journey here.
Although my spirit may go far away over the sea, Let it come back to me again so that I may live and journey here.
Although my spirit may go far away to the flashing beams of light, Let it come back to me again so that I may live and journey here.
Although my spirit may go far away to visit the sun and the dawn, Let it come back to me again so that I may live and journey here.
Although my spirit may wander over the lofty mountains, Let it come back to me again so that I may live and journey here.
Although my spirit my go far away into all forms that live and move, Let it come back to me again so that I may live and journey here.
Although my spirit may go far away to distant realms, Let it come back to me again so that I may live and journey here.
Although my spirit may go far away to all that is and is to be, Let it come back to me again so that I may live and journey here.
Although my spirit may wander in the valley of death Let it come back to me again so that I may live and journey here.
Ramakrishna's deep wisdom and insights resonate and embody the Interfaith approach, so today I am re-blogging this wonderful post because when it was first published, late last year, it didn't quite get the attention I think it deserves. Enjoy.
"God has made different religions to suit different aspirations, times, and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no mean God Himself. Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole-hearted devotion. One may eat a cake with icing either straight or sidewise. It will taste sweet either way.
As one and the same material, water is called by different names by different peoples, one calling it water, another eau, a third aqua,and another pani, so the one Everlasting-Intelligent-Bliss is invoked by some as God, by some as Allah, by some as Jehovah, and by some as Brahman.
As one can ascend to the top of a house by means of a ladder or a bamboo or a staircase or a rope, so diverse are ways and means to approach God, and every religion in the world shows one of these ways.
Bow down and worship where others kneel, for where so many have been paying the tribute of adoration, the kind Lord must manifest himself, for he is all mercy.
The saviour is the messenger of God. He is like the viceroy of a mighty monarch. As when there is is some disturbance in a far off province, the king sends his viceroy to quell it, so wherever there is a decline in religion in any part of the world, God sends his Saviour there. It is one and the same Saviour that, having plunged into the ocean of life, rises up in one place and is known as Krishna, and diving down again rises up in another place and is known as Christ.
Everyone should follow ones own religion. A Christian should follow Christianity, a Muslim should follow Islam and so on. For the Hindus the ancient path, the path of the Aryan sages, is best. People partition of their lands by means of boundaries, but no-one can partition of the all-embracing sky overhead. The indivisible sky surrounds all and includes all.
So people in ignorance say, "My religion is the only one, my religion is the best." But when a heart is illumed by true knowledge, it knows that above all these wars of sects and sectarians presides the one indivisible, eternal, all-knowing bliss.
As a mother, in nursing her sick children, gives rice and curry to one, and sago arrowroot to another, and bread and butter to a third, so the Lord has laid out different paths for different people suitable for their natures."
"My fellow religious believers, I ask this. Obey the injunctions of your own faith; travel to the essence of your religious teaching, the fundamental goodness of the human heart. Here is the space where, despite doctrinal differences, we are all simply human. If you believe in God, see others as God's children. If you are nontheist, see all beings as your mother. When you do this there will be no room for prejudice, intolerance, or exclusivity...Always embrace the common humanity that lies at the heart of us all".
You might also like 'Advocates for peace'- The Dalai Lama in MayArchives. Look through the Archives to find more insights from Luther Standing Bear, Martin Luther King, Pope Benedict, Amma, Rumi, Hafiz, Einstein in
It was a surprise to me when I discovered that some of the most popular posts I have written on this blog, have been about me! So I have expanded on that a bit. If you want to see more of my heart - check out "My Spiritual Diary" in the Pages section.
You will also find extracts from a travel memoir I am endeavouring to write - my thoughts and impressions while at sacred sites in Bodhgaya, Sarnath, Varanasi, how I used my spiritual practise to help me 'Transcend Death" - well a very close experience with it! How I practise "perfect altruism" and a whole lot more. All of this can be found in the Archives, some of it can be accessed via Popular Posts. Happy reading and as always, I welcome thoughts and feedback - Shari
The Golden Rule has come up in a few conversations I have had recently and I certainly think that in today's strife torn world, the message inherent in the Rule is just as relevant now - possibly even more so, than when some of the earliest examples were written, approximately 2000 years ago.
Certainly the world we collectively share wouldbe a very different one if we all treated each other with the same dignity, respect and kindness that we want for ourselves and our loved ones. That in fact is the message of The Golden Rule - treat others as you wish to be treated yourself.
It is a timeless message that has served humanity through the ages. Wise teachers, mystics and masters, sages, saints and prophets have all reiterated these words - expressed each time in a different way, with different sentiments, but always containing the same universal message.
Regardless of our circumstances, our race, culture, religion and beliefs, we all want the same thing; peace, compassion, love and kindness; that the human heart is the font of all goodness - our purpose is to realise that, to see ourselves reflected in each other, and in doing so, transcend our differences.
‘You shall not take vengeance, or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself’ - Judaism (1400 BC) 'We should regard all creatures as we regard our own self’ - Jainism (800 BC) 'I will be as careful for you as I should be for myself in the same need' - Ancient Greece (700 BC)
‘That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself’ - Zoroastrianism (600 BC) 'Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful’ - Buddhism (500 BC) ‘Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss’ - Taoism (500 BC)
‘Do not do to others what you would not want others to do to you’ -Confucianism (500 BC)
'Do naught unto others (that) which would cause you pain if done to you’ - Hinduism (300 BC)
‘So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them’ -Christianity (30 AD)
‘None of you believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself’ -Islam (600 AD)
‘As you deem yourself, deem others as well; only then will you become a partner in heaven’ - Sikhism (1600)
‘Oh, do as you would be done by. And do unto all men as you would have them do unto you, for this is but the law and the prophet’ -Quakerism (1650)
‘Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself’ - Bahá'í (1844)
Image sourced freedigitalphotos.net
You might also like 'Charter of Compassion' in June archives
but rather how well its people have learned to relate
to their environment and fellow man.
Sun Bear - Chippewa medicine man
Find more Indigenous Wisdom, Insights, Wise Words and Quiet Reflections in the Archives - Luther Standing Bear, Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Frank Baum, Einstein, Maisie Cavanagh, Rumi, Tariq Ramadan...
I'm re-blogging this post I wrote some time ago - apologies to those who have read it. A situation arose the other day which reminded me of how much I have moved on from a situation that caused so much mental suffering - it was only through spiritual practise that I was able to do so.
I have always tried to 'walk the talk', to 'practise what I preach' - so to speak. To me it is a fundamental part of authentic spiritual practise - living your beliefs, embodying them as a representative of your particular faith. That's not to say you can't falter - we are human after all!
I remember being at a spiritual retreat many years ago and I was very surprised and somewhat shocked when someone I knew well - who had been a staunch spiritual practitioner for many years, spoke about the difficulty he had applying his teachings to his daily life.
The eight auspicious Buddhist symbols
At the time I was a relative newcomer to my chosen path, but even so I had always tried to live my practise. To me it is an intrinsic part of being on a spiritual path in the first place. Living your teachings is fundamental to spiritual growth, adhering to your beliefs even in really challenging situations - those moments that inevitably come along to confront you, when it is so easy to jump into the accompanying surge of emotion that wants to sweep you along with it.
Before, I jumped. Once I started living my practise, I paused, stepped aside - into a space that let me become an observer instead of a participant, watched the surge dissipate. Came away from the whole sorry situation a better person. A conversation recently got me thinking about 'walking the talk' the other day. I was asked how I had overcome the deep pain that had been inflicted on my family and I through the 'un-enlightened' actions of another. I thought instantly of this Buddhist Bodhisattva prayer;
image sourced: freedigitalphotos.net
May all beings enjoy happiness And have whatever causes happiness
May they be free from suffering And whatever causes suffering
May they never be separated from the Pure happiness which is without suffering
May they remain in great equanimity Beyond attachment or aversion, to things near and far.
This particular situation had dragged on for some years. It was one of the worst things my family has been through. It was profoundly challenging and extremely difficult. I got to point - which I admit did take some time - where I knew that I had to get back to a place of peace. The pain and suffering was causing me too much damage. That meant being more diligent, going deeper, more intently into my spiritual practise. After a time I automatically started to include this person in my daily meditation visualisations - it's something I do regularly for family and friends who need healing. One day I just popped her in there, saw her surrounded in peace, genuinely wished protection, health and happiness for her, understood that her harsh actions came from a place of ignorance, that - like everyone of us, what she most wanted in life was kindness, peace and love. I kept doing this everyday until it became second nature to me, until finally - when I occasionally caught myself dwelling once again on what had happened, there was no reaction, the pain was gone, the intensity that use to come with the emotions attached to it, had dissipated as though they had never been.
And then one day, the situation turned. She stepped forward instead of back. Things healed, became as they should be. That to me is the power of authentic spiritual practise. The power of this prayer - seeing ourselves reflected in each other. Understanding that compassion - if lived and practised authentically, has no boundaries. No limitation.
You may also like 'Memoir of a pilgrim - Transcending death' and 'Meditation - What the Buddha learnt' in Popular Posts and Archives.
There is one Holy Book, the sacred manuscript of nature, the only scripture which can enlighten the reader. Most people consider as sacred scriptures only certain books or scrolls written by the hand of man, and carefully preserved as holy, to be handed down as divine revelation.
Men have fought and disputed over the authenticity of these books, have refused to accept any other book of similar character, and, clinging thus to the book and losing the sense of it, have formed diverse sects.
The Sufi has in all ages respected all such books, and has traced in the Vedanta, Zend-Avesta, Kabbalah, Bible,Quran, and all other sacred scriptures, the same truth which he or she reads in the incorruptible manuscript of nature, the only Holy Book, the perfect and living model that teaches the inner law of life.
All scriptures when compared to natures manuscript, are like little pools of water before the ocean. To the eye of the seer every leaf of the tree is a page of the Holy Book that contains divine revelation, and he or she is inspired every moment of life by constantly reading and understanding the holy script of nature.
- Hazrat Inayat Khan
See Archives for Wise Words, Insights and Quiet Reflection from the Dalai Lama, Rumi, Ramakrishna, Martin Luther King, Einstein, Luther Standing Bear, Pope Benedict, Sister Joan Chittister and many more
A human being is part of the whole we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for only the few people nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this compassion, to embrace all living beings and all nature.
- Albert Einstein
Find more 'wise words' by Einstein, Sister Joan Chittister, Pope Benedict 1V, the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King and others in the Archives